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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

Egypt and Israel                         239
syncretism (as was only to be expected) is proved by the archaeo-
logy of Syria (e.g. the figurines of Astarte, seals etc.)/1 Remains
of Egyptian temples have been discovered in Ras Shamra, Byblus,
Bethshean, Megiddo, Taanach, Lachish, and elsewhere; Rameses
III (1194-1163) built a temple in the south of Palestine (Pe-
Kanan) 'like the horizon of heaven which is in the sky*; there
was a great statue of the god to which 'the Asiatics came bearing
tribute before it, for it was divine'.2 And many other illustra-
tions could be given. With the many proofs of the existence of
Egyptian forms of worship, it is not unreasonable to surmise that
the Israelites during, at any rate, the pre-prophetic period may
have been influenced by Egyptian religion. We venture to
suggest that such influence is to be seen in the worship of the
'Golden Calf. The record of this is contained in EzocL xxxiL
1-6; as belonging to the Elohistic document, this passage is
interpreted in the light of Canaanite bull-worship; but if, as
seems probable, this episode reflects something that actually
happened—and Hebrew traditions usually contain a kernel of
truth—then the worship of the 'Golden Calf cannot have been
of Canaanite origin. In Esod. TTTII. 4 it is said: cThese be thy
gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt';
here we have the over-working due to the later standpoint, for
according to I Kings zii. 28 the 'Golden Calf was only one
deity, and an Egyptian one. We hazard the suggestion that this
deity was the goddess Hathor. There is a perfect image of this
cow-goddess belonging to the time of Amenophis II (c. 1460-
1420); the head, neck, and horns were originally covered with
gold; it is now in the Cairo Museum;3 this image is strongly
suggestive of the 'Golden Calf. She is described elsewhere as
the goddess whose necklace shines 'like heaven with its stars; she
is called "the golden" one, or "the gold of the gods" * ;4 this, too,
1 Camb. Anc. Hist., ii. 345 (1924).                           3 Op. cit., p. 34.3.
3  Gressmann, Altorientaliscbe Bilder zum Alien Testament, plate 266 (i 927).
4  Grapow, Der Alte Orient^ 1920, Heft I, p. 13.  Erman, Die Religion der